Hey! I am back with the first episode of SSBS, the pics in the display pic are of Ragini from age 5, one before her marriage and a current pic as well. Hope you enjoy reading the episode.
Ragini kept walking on the isolate road, shedding silent tears. Her body was shivering due to the cold breeze, sobs wracking her fragile frame, she just couldn’t stop crying yet she couldn’t complain because she herself was the reason of her current state.
It seemed as if God also wasn’t at her side, as soon enough it started raining heavily. Ragini let out a mocking chuckle as she wiped the tears and rain drops off her face, smudging her makeup. She pulled up her veil over her head and face and kept on walking till the voice of some bells ringing hard reached her ears.
She looked up and saw a temple. The temple was decorated with marigold flowers of yellow and orange colours, the green color of the leaf strings were laid between the flower strings. The contrasting colors looked beautiful over the white walls of the temple. It all reminded of her marriage.
Ironically today was the most auspicious day for Hindus, Akshay Tritya, the day that in Hindu culture, is considered the most auspicious day for starting something new, a marriage especially. Ragini climbed up the stairs, with every step she remembered things that changed her life. The wind started blowing, making Ragini’s veil fall off her head but she cared less. The cold, the pain that the harsh raindrops were causing was much less than the pain that was unknowingly inflicted upon her by the ones she loved.
She came and sat in front of the Goddess Kaali’s idol. Her eyes had questions but she had no answers for them. She wanted to complain, wanting to yell about how unlucky she was but couldn’t, she didn’t had any energy left in her system after what she had gone through.
She rested her back against a pillar and pulled her legs up close to her chest and rested head on her knees. Memories of past were flashing in front of her eyes like a black and white movie.
(From here starts Phase – I of the story, “Memories Of Past”, this phase will tell the story of past, as to what had happened that lead to the situation that Ragini is currently facing.)
(Phase I – Memories Of Past)
A 5 year old Ragini stood near the hospital bed where laid her mother. Scared, Ragini brought up her teddy bear close to her chest and buried her face in teddy’s fur. She was scared of all those things and needles attached to her mother’s body. Her usually chirpy and beautiful mother was now lying on the bed, her face was pale and her body looked fragile. She looked like a glass doll who will break if touched.
Ragini was confused, the nice woman who had bandaged her mother’s wound was saying something about suicide. Ragini didn’t knew what suicide was, she was just scared. She had came back from her new school with her Nima (her grandmother, Nani Maa) when she saw her mother sleeping on the floor, she never did that ever. Moving close Ragini noticed some injections lying close to her mother’s body.
Placing her bag on the chair, Ragini went up to wake her mother, but her mother didn’t wake up. All this time her Nima was still standing at the door. Ragini then asked her Nima to wake her mother up but in response Nima just rushed away to call a doctor and the next thing Ragini knew was that she was sitting in a white van and they all came at this hospital.
Anandita’s eyes fluttered open, her sight blurred at first, slowly came into focus. She noticed her mother first who was shedding silent tears. Anandita knew that she had only a little time left, enough to teach her daughter the most important thing. She craned her neck slowly to look at her daughter, her sweet Ri-Ri.
“Ri-Ri..” Anandita slowly extended her hand a little towards her daughter.
Ragini didn’t want to hurt her mother, so she was reluctant at first but her Nima gave her an encouraging push, so Ragini came and placed her little hand in her mothers’.
“Ri-Ri, I know you are scared because you know that Mamma is hurt. Baby don’t be scared, Mamma is just going to be with God now, I will look over you from above the sky.”
“But Mamma, Ri-Ri needs you too.”
Anandita controlled herself, she didn’t want to cry in front of Ragini, “You have Nima, but God has no one. So Mamma needs to go. Now, Mamma wants to tell you something very important.” Ragini moved more close to her mother.
“Ri-Ri, I want you to know that your Mamma isn’t as strong as you thought me to be. I was week, that’s why I fell in love with your father. I was week, that’s why I couldn’t leave him, even after he left me. I am week, that’s why I am leaving you now. But promise me that you won’t fall week. You will stay strong always. How hard the situation be, you will not fall week, promise me that you will face every problem, every difficult situation strongly.” Anandita’s voice started breaking because it was becoming difficult for her to breathe.
Nima ran outside to call the doctor, Anandita still kept talking, “Promise me.”
Ragini softly said, “Promise.”
Anandita smiled despite the pain she was feeling, “Now I can close my eyes forever and rest in peace.” she closed her eyes and the next moment her last breath left her body and she flatlined.
When Nima came back with doctor and nurse by her side, she saw Ragini laying her teddy bear on the bed in a sleeping position beside the lifeless body of Anandita. Nima fell on her knees and it were Ragini’s words that broke her completely.
“Sssshhhh Nima, Mamma just went to sleep. I told teddy to sleep with Mamma today, so Mamma will not get scared.” Ragini pulled up the sheet over her teddy, tucking it close to her mother.
One year later, she was at hospital again.
Ragini and her Nima were coming back home after school. Ragini wanted to eat some ice cream. Both of them were crossing the road, happily relishing their ice creams when they heard a loud horn. Nima pushed Ragini away before the truck coming towards them could hit her.
But Nima could not save herself. Ragini had suffered few injuries, some scratches and minor ones on arms and legs and a wound on her forehead. People had gathered and brought them to the hospital.
Right now, Ragini, after being treated, was sitting outside the room where the doctors had taken her Nima. Its been two days and they didn’t let her see Nima. But still she hadn’t cried, she remembered her promise to her mother, that she will remain strong no matter what.
People here were nice, they gave her food on time and treated her nicely. Soon a beautiful woman came to her and said, “Hey sweet girl, your Daddy is coming here to get you.”
“My Daddy?” Ragini had never met her Daddy.
“Yes darling, your Nima is sick na, she wont be able to take care of you that’s why your Nima asked me to call your Daddy here.”
“Excuse me.” they heard the voice of man. Ragini raised her head to look at him.
“I am Shekhar Gadodia, I was called here.” He paused and looked at Ragini, “Is she?”
The nurse stood up with a sympathetic smile on her face, “Yes Mr. Gadodia, this is Ragini, your daughter.”
The man collapsed on the floor in front of her. Ragini kept staring at him, was he her Daddy?
The man then hugged her tight and said, “Oh my sweet girl, I am your Daddy.” he broke the hug and wiped his tears. He took her hands in his, “Now you are going to stay with Daddy. You and Daddy will go and live in our new home. Will you come and live with your Daddy?” he asked.
Ragini just nodded in positive and went with her Daddy.
“How could you do this Shekhar!!” Ragini heard that woman say to her Daddy. Her Daddy had brought her to her new house. Ragini liked her new house a lot. It was very huge and beautiful. Here she met more new people.
One was a woman of her mother’s age whom her Daddy was calling “Mishti”, and there were a boy and a girl as well. The boy was bigger than her and was looking at her with angry eyes. Scared Ragini stood behind her Daddy. Though the boy was scary but the little girl was not, she looked as scared as Ragini was.
Ragini went towards the little girl and offered her some candies out of the candy bag that her Daddy had bought for her. Smiling sweetly, the girl was about to take those candies from her but the boy pulled the girl towards him and pushed Ragini on the floor, “We will not take anything from you.”
Tears filled Ragini’s pretty eyes. “Anshuman!” Her Daddy yelled at the boy and picked Ragini up in his arms. Ragini snuggled deep in her father’s arms and hid her face in the crook of his neck.
They started shouting hard, Ragini, afraid of it all closed her eyes tightly. The elders kept shouting and each other and after what felt like an eternity, the woman went out of the house with the boy and girl with her.
And Ragini was left alone with her Daddy.
Ragini was still holding her candy bag as she looked at her Daddy who was sitting on swing. He looked tensed, wanting to cheer him up Ragini walked towards him with slow steps.
“Daddy you want some candy?” She asked. Her Daddy looked up at her and smiled. He picked her up and made her sit in his lap. Ragini took out a mango flavoured candy, unwrapped it and offered it to her father who ate the candy from her hand. The father and daughter duo then started talking about what they will do tomorrow, about her new school, her new room and other things.
After 17 years (Few months before the Present Time)
“Happy birthday to you….happy birthday to you….” Ragini opened her eyes and sat up on her bed, grinning widely as in front of her stood her Dad. He was wearing his usual night clothes, white colored kurta pyjama, he had a black forest cake in his right hand, a gift box in his left one. He was wearing a birthday cap and was singing the birthday song.
“Happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Ri-Ri…happy birthday…to..you…” Shekhar finished singing the birthday song, he placed the cake on the table and hugged his daughter tight, kissing the top of her head.
“Thank you thank you thank you Dad!! All these years and no one could beat your record! You are still the first person to wish me happy birthday. I am impressed.” Ragini smiled and pulled the birthday cap off her Dad’s head.
“That means I am second again?!” The father and daughter duo turned towards the balcony attached to Ragini’s room, from where the voice was coming from.
Shekhar shook his head and pushed Ragini towards the balcony, “I wonder why he can’t come inside the normal way!” Ragini laughed at her father’s statement and went towards the balcony. There he was, standing on the ladder, leaning against the railing.
“Give me your hand Princess.” Laksh said in a dramatic way, making Ragini smile as she extended her hand for him.
Laksh Maheshwari, 24 year old, heir to the Maheshwari business empire. He has a close circle of friends, one of which is Ragini, his childhood best friend and the love of his life. They had been friends since they were kids of age 7 (Ragini) & 8 (Laksh). The connection was instant and as they grew up, their friendship blossomed into love.
Ragini helped Laksh climb inside. Laksh hugged Ragini tightly and twirled her around, wishing her a happy birthday. Shekhar looked at them smilingly, he knew about Ragini and Laksh being in a relationship and because he had seen Laksh grow up in front of his own eyes, he trusts him with his precious daughter.
“Not fair Uncle S, you could have let me wish her first this time!” Laksh complained as he plopped down on Ragini’s bed while Shekhar and Ragini sat on the couch. From the past 16 years, its like a competition between Laksh and Shekhar as to who will wish Ragini first on her birthday and all these years its been Shekhar who always gad wished her first.
“Why should I?” asked Shekhar and Laksh made a whiny face in response making Ragini laugh. She was then asked to cut the cake, Ragini took a bit of cake in both her hands and fed it to Laksh and Shekhar at the same time.
Ragini rubbed her hands in excitement, “Now where are my gifts?”
Laksh presented Ragini three gift boxes, wrapped beautifully in silver colored wrapping paper. She unwrapped the first box, it was a blue velvet case inside which was a gorgeous looking silver charm bracelet with crystals. Few charms were already hanging through it. One was a candy, there was a heart charm, a ‘R’ alphabet charm, a cute little vampire charm and there was a small key charm as well.
“Its so pretttyyyy!!” Ragini squealed, tracing her fingers over the bracelet.
“Open the other one.” Laksh said smiling sweetly.
Ragini kissed Laksh’s cheek and started unwrapping her second gift box, this time it was red velvet box inside which laid a beautiful diamond necklace with matching earrings. And there was a matching pendant in a silver chain, small and beautiful.
“Well…I…I designed this for you. Both the necklace set and that pendant as well.” Laksh said with a shy sheepish look on his face.
Ragini looked elated after what Laksh said, even Shekhar looked proud. Though Laksh had started participating in his family business of hotels but he still works on his hobby sometimes. Laksh had always liked drawing and painting. It wasn’t the costly diamond studded platinum necklace set, but the fact that Laksh had designed it for her, was what touched her heart.
Excited of what would be in the third box, Ragini opened the that box but her excitement simmered down as she saw what was inside. It was a key ring of her name. Silver in colour and studded with diamonds.
“Well this is more like a complimentary thing to Uncle S’s gift for you.” Laksh told her. Ragini looked at her Dad who just grinned at her and both Laksh and Shekhar held each hand of hers and took her downstairs to the garage, outside at the left corner if the huge mansion like house.
Shekhar punched some numbers in the security keypad and the garage door opened up. Inside there were 5 cars, expensive, gorgeous looking and luxurious. But there was another car, covered up, at a corner. Shekhar pushed Ragini towards it, gesturing it to uncover it.
Ragini uncovered it as Laksh and Shekhar looked on smiling. It revealed to be a shining black Audi Z4. Ragini let out a shriek and jumped in excitement.
“OMG OMG OMG!! New car!!” Shekhar came laughing and hugged Ragini sideways as Laksh ruffled her hair.
“Here are the keys..” Shekhar handed Ragini the car keys and “Here’s the key ring..” Laksh took the keys from Ragini and added them in the key ring, giving it then back to Ragini.
They laughed, the smiled and they celebrated. They were so happy. Ragini was happy.
Credit to: Kirti